Row homes to replace strip mall

A housing project killed by the recession won unanimous approval by the council Tuesday, May 24, replacing a vacant strip mall at the corner of Middlefield and Alvin streets with 32 row homes.

Some council members weren't entirely happy with the design, which squeezes five, two-story buildings, a small driveway network and a tiny park on a triangular 1.85-acre parcel, putting the park up against the neighboring Toyota dealership. There was a long discussion about the walkability of the sidewalk out front and whether the residents would use their front doors because garages were placed to the rear of each home.

The project was said to have the support of the Monta Loma neighborhood and the environmental planning commission. A previous iteration of the project the council approved pre-recession had 75 apartment units.

The homes will average 1,500 square feet and are two- and three-stories tall with two-car garages.

A small commercial space had been designed into the project but was found infeasible without street parking, which was removed to allow for a bicycle lane that extends through Palo Alto on Middlefield Road.


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Posted by Duke
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Why can't I think of a question to ask?

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Posted by Duke
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 27, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Does M.V. have an active Redevelopment Agency?

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Posted by @Duke
a resident of The Crossings
on May 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Sounds like you did

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Posted by kman
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Hmm, i live in the Monta Loma area and i was never asked. Who did the they ask? This place is a major traffic headache. The streets around there should be better redeveloped before they put in such a huge project for the google employees. What about the infrastructure being overloaded, the schools, the garbage, the water, sewers, etc... Lets not forget about the gas pipeline that runs down Middlefield.

I guess it's true what they say about Mtn View, that it's turning into a bedroom community.

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Posted by RoxieK
a resident of North Whisman
on May 27, 2011 at 4:34 pm

I can hear it now ... future homeowners in this lovely development complaining about Toyota's service department, all the traffic, the noise, etc., etc. Pushing to drive a long term (decades, mind you) profitable business out of the area. Do the city planners actually think about things like this when they approve these ultra high density projects?

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Posted by MVFlyer
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm

RoxieK--The Toyota dealership is actually in Palo Alto, so MV gets zero benefit from it--the city line runs right along the new development's property line. So if it gets driven out or not, it won't make a difference to MV--but I agree, a long term business that's a good neighbor is very worthy to keep.

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Posted by MVFlyer
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 27, 2011 at 4:50 pm

I live just down the street from this site, and I can tell you, traffic will be an issue. Alvin street is sub-standard width, and with limited street parking around there it's going to be nasty. Add to this people cutting through the neighborhood from the new HP development, and our quality of life will not be as good. At least this development is in MV, so we get the property tax revenue--lots of people park on Alvin who live at the apartments next to the new development--the apartments are in Palo Alto, but they tie up our street.

I wonder who in Monta Loma "approved" this--most of the Monta Lomans are affected by the HP development, so they really don't care about the Alvin/Middlefield site.

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Posted by Jw
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 27, 2011 at 5:34 pm

I too wonder who OK'd it from Monta Loma. They make it sound like we are excited. Not so much.
I will say that anything would look better than the current parcel of weeds and chain-link fences, though.

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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 27, 2011 at 6:48 pm

If the neighborhood association approves of the project, then that is all that is necessary for some council members to support the project. I watched the replay and it was embarrassing to see some council members argue over the width of the sidewalk. Some wanted more sidewalk and less green landscaping.

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Posted by resident
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 27, 2011 at 9:01 pm

I live in Monta Loma and think this is a good plan. Let's get construction started!

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Posted by BEN
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 27, 2011 at 9:30 pm



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Posted by SSM
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 29, 2011 at 12:05 am

This plan has been in the works for a long time. There have been numerous notices about meetings that the neighborhood was invited to participate in and give feedback. Those who show up for them or send in comments are the ones the city council can take into account in terms of neighborhood approval. The neighborhood association does not specifically endorse particular plans, candidates or issues. It provides information and a forum to discuss these. If you want to be sure to hear about upcoming meetings or study sessions with the City Council on developments in or near Monta Loma, get on the neighborhood email list and also on the City Council list. You'll get postcards from the City about meetings. They also send emails to the MLNA President which are then posted to the neighborhood email.

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Posted by localmom
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 31, 2011 at 8:32 am

Did anyone ask the Mountain View-Whisman school district if they have the extra capacity for a few hundred more kids?? Who is going to pay to transport and educate these kids? The developers get off easy, and I think the MV City Council does not consider the whole picture when they leave the school district out of the discussion.

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Posted by arithmetic
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2011 at 11:17 pm

@localmom - "a few hundred more kids"? Ok, let's see, 32 new row homes. Let's say "a few hundred" means 200. That makes 6.25 kids per 1,500 square foot row house. They sure will get underfoot.

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Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 5, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Bad place for houses. As soon as their occupied, they're going to start complaint about all the businesses. Motorcycles whizzing by from Cal-Moto, tow trucks filling National Tow's lot with all those cars towed by MVPD for driving while brown. And, oh my, a bar!, open until 2AM?!? With smokers outside talking?

There is a reason all these businesses are on Old Middlefield. NO HOUSING! Who approves this crap? Oh yeah, the incumbents. Grow a pair voters and try not to be so complacent with the same old folks in charge.

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